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Beauty products and non medical treatments during pregnancy

Some beauty products contain chemicals that can be harmful during pregnancy.

During pregnancy you should avoid:

  • tanning pills
  • tanning injections
  • products containing retinol or salicylic acid
  • sunbeds
  • botox injections
  • saunas, jacuzzis and hot tubs

Fake tanning creams, hair dye and nail polish have a very low risk of causing harm to you or your unborn baby. But during pregnancy your skin can become more sensitive. This makes allergic reactions to these products more common.

If you're pregnant and work as a beautician, always wear a mask and stay in a well-ventilated room.

Always tell massage or spa therapists that you're pregnant before having a treatment. Avoid any treatments that involve lying on your back, or applying pressure to your tummy.

Acupuncture and reflexology therapies, if done by a qualified person, are usually safe. Always make sure you go to a licensed clinic that uses sterile needles.

Tattoos and piercings

It's best to wait until after giving birth to get a tattoo or piercing.

During pregnancy your skin becomes more sensitive. You're at a higher risk of infection. This means you're more likely to have a reaction to a tattoo or piercing.

Sensitive skin during pregnancy also increases the risk of scarring. If you have a belly button piercing, you should remove it before your second trimester. Skin stretching in later pregnancy can cause scarring.

Page last reviewed: 14 July 2023
Next review due: 14 July 2026